spacer      

spacer
         

HOME spacerSEEDS & TWIGS spacerNESTS & SHELLSspacerABOUT

 
 

 

SEEDS & TWIGS

Index

spacer

Journal 2018

Index

spacer

June 2018

The untold story

spacer

May 2018

One more scratch on the doorway

spacer

April 2018

Things new born

spacer

March 2018

The peach tree and me

spacer

February 2018

She who shows the way

spacer

January 2018

Spiny back orb weaver and other wonders

spacer

Journal 2017

Index

spacer

Journal 2016

Index

Photo posted to Facebook series "Finding the way home." Caption read: Penn Station...listening to Good Thing (on my headphones) ...waiting to pick up rolling suitcase checked in Atlanta. (below) Scheherazade. Sophie Anderson. c. 19th Century. The New Art Gallery, Walsall UK.

 

JUNE 2018

THE UNTOLD STORY

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Maya Angelou (b. 1928), American poet

In 2003, I moved to New York City to attend graduate school in psychology at New York University. It was my time at NYU and most particularly an independent study in the final year that was a watershed for my life. The independent study focused on the connections between gender bias, narrative and the emergence of the Self. That study reshaped my identity as a woman and as an artist. It also inspired a self-narrative paradigm which I named the Scheherazade Model. Scheherazade is the famous Arabian storyteller who told stories to save not only her own life but the lives of other women. Her storytelling cycle prevented the death of countless women and, very importantly, it transformed the heart of a kingdom.

In 2006 I launched a web site, The Scheherazade Project. The goal was to have a place that I could have a voice, explore the narrative work I began at NYU and, quite simply, begin my writing life. Over that first year, I wrote about the three prongs of the Scheherazade Model: mythology of self, mythology of other and mythology of planet.

This paradigm emphasizes the elevation of feminine values. Feminine values, also known as intrinsic values, focus on the importance of community and harmony, as opposed to masculine values which center on the elevation of the individual and the mastery of the environment.

 

The way we tell stories directly affects the way we live our lives. And our storytelling is largely based on the monomyth, also known as the hero's journey. The monomyth has several distinguishing characteristics. It centers around an individual who is almost always male. It also values skills which enable the hero to master the environment and realize personal achievement (e.g., career, awards, money). These values are commonly referred to as extrinsic or masculine, as opposed to feminine values which are grounded in harmony with the community and the environment. What can be lost when our stories are skewed to the masculine is a recognition of our essential interdependence with creation and each other.

This shift toward the feminine is important both individually and globally. On an individual basis, feminine values are the ones more strongly correlated with a sense of well-being and satisfaction with life. This is true for both men and women as they age. On a global level, embracing of feminine values is a necessary step toward lessening hostility and violence. By focusing on our interconnectedness, we can create a world in which there are fewer divisions between us, a world in which we share more equally in our natural resources and abundance, a world in which we exist in harmony with each other and with our environment.

Over the next several months I will be posting essays and artwork that express what I've learned about the Scheherazade Model over the past 15 years. That means a look at each relationship expressed in the model: self, other, planet, divine. This model, of course, is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all paradigm. Your personal myth or story will reflect the wisdom, values and experience which are unique to you and your life. But I hope the Scheherazade Model and these writings over the next several months can serve as a starting point for you, a springboard to new imaginings of your life and our world.

 

 

 

spacer

HOME spacerSEEDS & TWIGS spacerNESTS & SHELLSspacerABOUT

spacer